Superintendent’s Update to Families – September 25, 2020

 

 

 

September 25, 2020

Dear Ridgefield Families,

We are just days away from October, which is the birthday month for both my boys.  October is always so much fun, with parties and fall-themed family outings.  I look forward to the annual trip to the pumpkin patch with Amanda, Jamison, and Declan.  I realize events will look a little different this year, but I refuse to let the memorable moments slip through my family’s hands.  Years from now, my boys won’t remember the social distancing requirements, the face coverings, the hand sanitizer stations, or the myriad other safety protocols in place.  Ok, they probably will remember, as the pandemic has left an indelible mark on everyone.  But, what I hope they will remember most is the time spent with family.  We will remain #RidgefieldResilient.

As I shared with you earlier this week, Clark County Public Health (CCPH) released the 14-day COVID activity level, 76.15 cases per 100,000 people.  This number puts our area in the “high” range, thereby delaying the transition to hybrid in-person learning.  CCPH recommends that COVID activity rates remain below 75 cases per 100,000 people for at least three consecutive weeks.  We will continue to coordinate with CCPH and communicate with you the District’s transition plan as we learn more.

The Learning Mode survey is now closed.  A quick apology: last night, an unintended email went out to ALL K-5 parents indicating they had not completed the survey.  A follow-up email went out immediately, attempting to clarify the mistake.  Please know that if you were one of the nearly 1,400 respondents that completed the survey, we have recorded your choice.  Thank you for your assistance.  For those who have not completed the survey, your student will be enrolled in Ridgefield Remote (our remote only) learning mode through the end of the first trimester (November 24) unless you email parentsurvey@ridgefieldsd.org indicating your desire for hybrid learning by the end of today.

A staff member recently shared with me that, “…there is an order to things that we may not understand, but in hindsight, we see that things work out as they should.”  The Ridgefield School District is committed to moving forward with positivity, inspiration, and inclusiveness. Knowing that we will be stronger and closer as a community for the shared challenges, we triumphed when this is all over.  Stay safe and continue to remain #RidgefieldResilient.

Sincerely,

Dr. Nathan McCann, Superintendent

Superintendent’s Update to Families – September 22, 2020

 

 

 

September 22, 2020

Dear Ridgefield Families,

I am writing to you this afternoon to share the latest news from Clark County Public Health (CCPH), regarding COVID activity in the community and the associated impact on plans to transition to K-5 hybrid instruction.  As we have shared previously, CCPH recommends that COVID activity rates remain below 75 cases per 100,000 people for three consecutive weeks post Labor Day.  The September 21st rate, released today, is 76.15 cases per 100,000 people.

What does this mean for the Ridgefield School District and our transition to the hybrid learning model?  In short, it means we wait.  We delay the transition to hybrid for AT LEAST three weeks.  We will continue to monitor the CCPH number weekly and continue to plan for the transition to the hybrid model.

I imagine this may be viewed as a setback for the 867 parents, or roughly three out of every four respondents, expressing a desire for their child(ren) to return to in-person learning via the hybrid model in our Learning Mode survey.  Please know that the District continues to look forward to the day we are able to bring students back for in-person instruction.  However, as we have said before, we will only do so in a safe and sensible manner.

The silver lining is that we have additional valuable time to continue communicating the many details related to the transition to hybrid learning.  It is still critical that ALL K-5 parents complete the Learning Mode survey (click here) so the district can appropriately place students and staff.  You are selecting the Learning Mode you wish to use (Ridgefield Remote / hybrid in-person) for the duration of the first trimester (until November 24).  As that date approaches, the District will survey all K-5 parents again to see which learning mode you wish to use for the second trimester (November 30 – March 4).

For those interested in additional information, I invite you to join the virtual School Board meeting tonight at 5:00 PM.  I will provide the school board an update on our current plans.  Please use this link to join the meeting (click here).

2020 continues to provide new and unforeseen challenges, yet I remain resolute that the Ridgefield community can and will overcome them all.  Stay safe and continue to remain #RidgefieldResilient.

Sincerely,

Dr. Nathan McCann, Superintendent

 

 

 

District Launches Poster Contest to Raise Awareness for Bullying Prevention

October, which is National Bullying Prevention Month, is fast approaching, and to help raise awareness against bullying, Ridgefield School District is launching a poster contest open to all Ridgefield School District students in grades K-12.  Prizes will be awarded to a winner and runner up in each of three grade bands:  K-4, 5-8 and 9-12.

We are looking for artwork entries that will help raise awareness against bullying and encourage positive behavior such as inclusion, kindness and acceptance.  Entries can be submitted to the student’s school office, the District Office, or via email to kalin.heath@ridgefieldsd.org.  One entry per student please.  Entry deadline is Friday, October 16th.

Winners will be announced on Wednesday, October 21st, which is Unity Day–the signature event of National Bullying Prevention Month.  We encourage everyone to wear orange on that day to show that we are all united in support of bullying prevention.

National Bullying Prevention Month is a nationwide campaign founded in 2006 by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center.  The goal of the annual campaign is to unite communities around the world to educate and raise awareness of bullying prevention.  Since its founding, the campaign has grown into a worldwide effort with thousands of individuals participating in multiple activities throughout October.

Visit https://www.pacer.org/bullying/ to learn more about National Bullying Prevention Month.

Ridgefield School District is grateful to iQ Credit Union for sponsoring this poster contest.

 

Superintendent’s Update to Families – September 18, 2020

 

 

 

September 18, 2020

Dear Ridgefield Families,

Thank goodness for the rain and improvement in the air quality.  It seems to be providing a natural transition to fall.  The changing of the leaves, the cool fall weather, and watching college football with friends and family, reminds me why I love the fall.

The District is currently operating a remote learning environment with limited in-person opportunities for our most academically impacted students.  We continue to monitor COVID-19 activity rates via the Clark County Public Health (CCPH) website, along with weekly Zoom updates with our public health officials.  CCPH has published the rates for the last several weeks (see below).  Based on current guidance from CCPH, and assuming rates remain less than 75 cases per 100,000, we will begin the graduated transition to Stage I: hybrid learning (in-person instruction for Grades K-5 via an A/B model) on October 6th.  More specific information regarding the plan will be shared next week, should public health metrics remain within the appropriate range.  Please note, should next week’s number rise above 75 cases per 100,000, we will postpone the transition plan and monitor rates for an additional three weeks.

Recent COVID-19 activity levels (rate is calculated weekly):

  • August 17: 74.7 cases per 100,000 people
  • August 24: 71.6 cases per 100,000 people
  • August 31: 63.05 cases per 100,000 people
  • September 7: 64.07 cases per 100,000 people
  • September 14:  69.4 cases per 100,000 people

Early this summer we asked you to indicate your desire to take part in a fully remote learning experience, in place of in-person instruction.  While many of you submitted your registrations, a lot has changed.  We are asking parents of Kindergarten through fifth grade students to complete the instruction model registration process linked below. This registration process will ask you to indicate your intent to remain in Ridgefield Remote, or your desire to participate in the hybrid instructional model.  Your participation is critical as we continue planning.  Access the registration form here.

I am so excited to share that our Homework Help program is expanding.  Beginning next week we will be adding math support for our 3rd and 5th graders.  As I share this fantastic news, I also wish to thank one of our dedicated staff members for making this possible – Susan Arndt.  Mrs. Arndt is currently providing math support for our 7th and 8th graders, but has witnessed the value of this program first hand and wants to help more of our students.  What a terrific example of #RidgefieldResilient.  Thank you, Susan!

Also, thank you for participating in our Thought Exchange last week.  We had over 300 participants who shared 281 Thoughts and more than 5,000 ratings on Ridgefield Remote.  What a great turnout.  Overall, responses were very positive.  Below is a WordCloud that represents the collective feedback.

Sincerely,

Dr. Nathan McCann, Superintendent

Superintendent Nathan McCann’s September 11, 2020 Update to Families

 

 

 

September 11, 2020

Dear Ridgefield Families,

Yesterday marked the 181st day since K-12 students had received in-person instruction in our schools. A regular school year consists of 180 days. Think about that for a moment. Yesterday also marked the first transition toward our ultimate goal; a return to full in-person learning. Limited in-person instruction and support services began yesterday as we welcomed back a cadre of students with more intensive needs. I had the pleasure of visiting these classrooms and seeing our fantastic staff working with our joyful students. It filled my cup! It’s great to finally start seeing some normal school activities taking place in our classrooms.

Please know, the process will take some time. The school operational modes are as follows:

  1. Remote instruction for all students
  2. Remote instruction for most students, with certain higher-needs students (select special education, homeless, ELL, Title, LAP) receiving in-person instruction
  3. Hybrid model for grades K-5 in an A/B cohort model
  4. Hybrid model for all grades in an A/B cohort model
  5. Return to regular school operations, with necessary modifications to address any ongoing effects of COVID-19

We continue to monitor COVID-19 activity rates via the Clark County Public Health (CCPH) website and meet weekly with our local public health officials. We will move cautiously, always with our students’ and staff’s safety and well-being at the center of the decision.

I’m excited to share with you that the District continues to add resources and supports to Ridgefield Remote. Just yesterday, we launched our Homework Help Zoom support. We offer live homework support from 5:00 – 8:00 PM Monday – Thursday for most of the K-8 grade bands. We hope to expand this service to all grades soon. We also launched a Tech Hotline. If you are having difficulty with your Chromebook, please email: helpdesk@ridgefieldsd.org or call 360-619-1363.

Today marks the end of our second week of Ridgefield Remote. While admittedly different, I know my boys and our family are finding a groove, and each day, we get a little more comfortable with the distance model. I hope your family is finding your groove too.  I have heard from many of you how pleased you are with the start of the school year.  I am very proud of all of our teachers and staff who have worked diligently to make Ridgefield Remote come to life.  And I am grateful for all our students and parents for making the most of this new learning environment.  In our continuous Pursuit of Premier, I ask you to take a few minutes and participate in our newest Thought Exchange (click here) to share your experiences so far.

2020 continues to challenge us all. I encourage you to find a moment of hope and inspiration this weekend.  Share your strength and resolve with others in the community, and together we will remain #RidgfieldResilient.

Sincerely,

Dr. Nathan McCann, Superintendent

District Launches Homework Help Evening Support

Starting Thursday, September 10th, Ridgefield School District is launching Homework Help evening support via Zoom for students and families.  Currently, the following grade levels and subjects are being supported.

The Zoom links below will provide access to support from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm for specific grade levels, subjects and days.

Kindergarten ELA and Math (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday)

1st grade ELA and Math (Tuesday and Wednesday)

2nd grade ELA and Math (Monday and Tuesday)

4th grade Math (Monday and Wednesday)

6th grade ELA (Tuesday and Wednesday)

7th & 8th grade Math (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday)

All Homework Help supports are live Zoom meetings available from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Parents and students may join the Zoom call at any point during these hours for homework help.

Superintendent’s Update to Families – September 1, 2020

 

 

 

September 1, 2020

Dear Ridgefield Families,

Yahoo! It is here…the first day of school for the 2020-2021 school year. I am so excited to be writing to you this morning. At this very minute, students across the Ridgefield School District are connecting with staff, seeing old friends, and meeting new ones via an improved virtual learning experience – Ridgefield Remote.

We are excited to share with you that very soon (possibly as early as next week), the District will be adding additional supports to our Ridgefield Remote. Specifically, we are working in partnership with our classified staff to open a “Homework Hotline” and a “Tech Help” call center. The “Homework Hotline” will be available in the early evening for students in grades K-6. Classified support staff will be available to help answer questions and provide additional guidance for students and parents. The “Tech Help” call center will be open during the school day to support and troubleshoot minor tech hiccups.

Earlier today, we shared more good news…the District’s waiver was approved to continue serving meals to all children ages 0-18 impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

School pickup sites are:

  • Union Ridge Elementary (Building B) – Monday-Friday, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
  • Sunset Ridge/View Ridge campus – Monday-Friday, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Students do not need to be present at pickup, and families can pick up meals for all their students at one time at either site.

We would love to see your “first-day” photos. Tag them with #RidgefieldSchoolSpirit and #RidgefieldFirstDay.

Thank you for your continued support. Stay well and remain #RidgefieldResilient.

Sincerely,

Dr. Nathan McCann, Superintendent

District to Provide Free Breakfast and Lunch Meals for All Children Ages 0-18 Starting Sept 1

Starting today, all breakfast and lunch meals provided by the district will be at no cost through the end of December 2020.

This is a result of an announcement yesterday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture extending waivers to allow school districts to serve meals to all children ages 0-18 impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Ridgefield School District’s waiver was approved to continue this service.

School pickup sites are:

Union Ridge Elementary (Building B)

Monday-Friday

11:30 am – 1:00 pm

Sunset Ridge/View Ridge campus

Monday-Friday

11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Students do not need to be present at pickup, and families can pick up meals for all their students at one time at either site.

Yard Signs Recognize Ridgefield Teachers

The first day of school will look different in many ways this year. Schools across the Ridgefield School District are transitioning to Ridgefield Remote, a fully online learning environment. Without the usual excitement in the hallways at South Ridge Elementary School, principal Jill Neyenhouse wanted to find a way to recognize the teachers for their hard work—even as they all worked far apart.

“One of the things we do as we return to start school is reconnect with each other and build our community together,” Neyenhouse said. “It is so much harder to do all of that when we are in a remote setting.” Inspired by the yard signs that recognized the 2020 graduates at Ridgefield High School, Neyenhouse decided to do something similar for South Ridge teachers.

The yard signs thank South Ridge Elementary School teachers for all their hard work.

Neyenhouse contacted the South Ridge Elementary School Parent Teacher Association to get the idea in motion. “They were just as excited as I was to do this for our staff.” The PTA quickly sourced and ordered the colorful signs. Together they made and delivered a total of 51 yard signs. Teachers were also given a goody bag with hand sanitizer, candy, a stress ball, bottled water, and a $10 gift certificate to local coffee shop the Birds and the Beans.

Teachers across the school district spent part of their summer in professional development trainings. A wide range of courses were designed to help ease the transition to online learning. Neyenhouse was impressed with the South Ridge Elementary teachers’ level of involvement. “It has been really amazing to watch the teachers rise to the challenge with such enthusiasm. They are incredible!”

Neyenhouse hopes the signs will remind people of all the hard work teachers have put in—and that the teachers realize how deeply they are appreciated. “I just want them to know that they are valued and seen. What they are doing is so much more monumental than usual and they deserve to be recognized for it. I am so proud of them and wanted to publicly acknowledge how amazing and awesome they are.”

Teachers received the yard sign and a goody bag just before the start of online classes for the new school year.

 

South Ridge Elementary School teacher Kristen Paradis was happy to receive a yard sign from principal Jill Neyenhouse.

 

South Ridge Elementary School teacher Gavin Clarke proudly displayed his yard sign.

 

Ridgefield School District Honors 2020 Exemplary Service Award Recipients

Ridgefield School District is proud to announce the recipients of its 2020 Exemplary Service Awards.  The honorees were recognized in the district’s annual Convocation ceremony held remotely yesterday.

CERTIFICATED EXEMPLARY SERVICE AWARD:  Austin Biel, Math Teacher, Ridgefield High School

Austin’s dedication to teaching helps his students understand even the most difficult math concepts.

CLASSIFIED EXEMPLARY SERVICE AWARD:  Kody Eastham, Grounds and Maintenance

Kody is a valued member of the district’s Grounds and Maintenance Team.  Rain or shine, he keeps our campus grounds always looking great.

PARTNER EXEMPLARY SERVICE AWARD:

Stacie Andrew, Ruth Chumley, Jennifer Holbrook, Angel Slack, Amber Vesely, Nicole Bartroff, Joanne Hazen, Vicki Marosi and Judi Sekidde, members of the district’s “Lunch Superheroes Team” from Chartwells Food Services.

While not directly employed by the Ridgefield School District, this team of food service employees played an essential role in providing children with meals when COVID-19 disrupted food service at the schools.  They stepped up to keep children fed each school day (including weekends) from Day 1 of the district’s school closure on March 16th through the last day of school.

Watch the video of the award presentations here:  https://youtu.be/Rp-gYYqepsc

Congratulations to all of our 2020 Exemplary Service Award honorees!

Austin Biel, 2020 Certificated Exemplary Service Award recipient

 

Kody Eastham, 2020 Classified Exemplary Service Award recipient

 

The “Lunch Superheroes Team” from Chartwells Food Services, recipients of the 2020 Partner Exemplary Service Award

Distribution of School Meals for Fall 2020

Starting the first day of school, Tuesday, September 1st, families can pick up grab-and-go meals for their students from the following school sites.  The meals will include Breakfast and Lunch.

Student accounts will be charged for meals based upon the student’s lunch status (Paid, Reduced Price or Free).  Students who qualify for free meals will not be charged.  The school pickup sites are:

Union Ridge Elementary (Building B)

Monday – Friday

11:30 am – 1:00 pm

Sunset Ridge/View Ridge campus

Monday – Friday

11:00 am – 12:30 pm

  • Students do not need to be present at pickup.
  • Families can pick up meals for all their students at one time at either site.
  • At pickup, staff will ask for student name(s) or student identification cards.

Requirements:

  • Students must be enrolled in the Ridgefield School District
  • Students must have an active Ridgefield School District lunch account

 

SPECIAL OPTION:  Save on Daily Trips!  On Mondays, pick up a 5-Day Meal Package

Please note:  5-Day Meal Packages picked up on September 1st and on September 8th (due to the Labor Day holiday) will include meals for 4 days only.

 

For information regarding Free or Reduced Price lunch meals, click here:

2020-21 Letter to Households ENGLISH

2020-21 Letter to Households SPANISH

 

Click here for the application for Free or Reduced Price lunch meals:

Application for Free and Reduced-Price Meals ENGLISH

Application for Free and Reduced-Price Meals SPANISH

Additional Day for Chromebook Pickups Set for Friday August 28th

In an effort to provide Chromebooks to as many of our students as possible, the district is scheduling an additional opportunity for families to pick up Chromebooks:

 

Friday, August 28th

8:00 am to 3:00 pm

Sunset Ridge Intermediate/View Ridge Middle School main parking lot

 

Chromebooks will be available for curbside pickup as usual, and families who have not yet picked up Chromebooks can come anytime within this timeframe.

To receive a Chromebook, parents are required to complete a Chromebook agreement.  Avoid delays!  Submit your agreement electronically prior to Friday so that the device(s) will be readily available for pickup.  It would also be helpful to place a sign on your dashboard showing Student’s Last Name and Grade Level.

Click here to access the Chromebook agreement to complete and submit electronically:

https://webforms.ridgefieldsd.org/Forms/DeviceCheckOut

Printed Chromebook agreements are also available at the RACC, 510 Pioneer Street, in downtown Ridgefield.

For Frequently Asked Questions regarding Chromebook distribution, click here:

https://www.ridgefieldsd.org/article/287454?org=district

You can also view a short video demonstrating the curbside pickup procedure on the district’s Facebook page.

If you are unable to make it on this day, please email chromebooks@ridgefieldsd.org to be contacted to arrange a time to pick up your student’s Chromebook.

 

Superintendent’s Update to Families – August 21, 2020

 

 

 

August 21, 2020

Dear Ridgefield Families,

I am reaching out to you this Friday afternoon with a tremendous amount of excitement! The 2020-2021 school year is nearly upon us. I know I am not alone in this excitement. The Ridgefield School District staff is anxious and excited to get started on what is sure to be a memorable year. Many challenges await us in the coming days, weeks, and months. What gives me strength is the passion and resilience I have observed time and again since the beginning of the pandemic from students, staff, and the greater Ridgefield Community. This passion and resiliency bind us towards a common goal, enabling us to achieve more together than we can alone.

Earlier this month I shared with you Ridgefield Remote, the District’s plan for remote instruction when we begin school in September. Ridgefield Remote is a more robust, predictable, and user-friendly distance-learning model which will allow rigorous learning to occur in the distance environment.

While we are beginning the year fully-remote, we remain committed to a return to in-person learning as conditions warrant. We are developing a graduated return to in-person learning. This starts while in remote learning, by bringing in small groups of students whose services cannot be effectively delivered in a remote environment. As we meet regional safety benchmarks, we will expand our in-person services, eventually reaching our hybrid learning model, and ultimately a full return to in-person learning. For more information on the regional School Opening Decision Framework, I encourage you to take a moment to read the latest recommendations for schools from Clark County Public Health and the corresponding news release from ESD 112.

I encourage you to explore the various resources we have compiled to aid you and your child(ren) in Ridgefield Remote. We recently updated our FAQ page, which seeks to answer the most frequently asked questions.

The District has put forth significant effort and capital to implement local and state safety guidelines. As I write this letter, ABM custodial staff are placing signage through our buildings reminding staff (and eventually students) about expectations, hall directions, handwashing requirements, face mask coverings, etc. Click here to view our page outlining the safety protocols staff, students, and visitors need to follow on our campuses

Thank you for your continued support. Stay well and remain #RidgefieldResilient.

Sincerely,

Dr. Nathan McCann, Superintendent

Chromebook Distribution Starts Tomorrow 8/20

Student Chromebooks will be distributed starting tomorrow, August 20th at Sunset Ridge/View Ridge, 3215 S. Hillhurst Road.

To receive a Chromebook, parents are required to complete a Chromebook agreement.  Avoid delays!  Submit your agreement electronically prior to your designated pickup day so that the device(s) will be readily available for pickup.

Click here to access the Chromebook agreement to complete and submit electronically:

https://webforms.ridgefieldsd.org/Forms/DeviceCheckOut

Printed Chromebook agreements are also available at the RACC, 510 Pioneer Street, in downtown Ridgefield.

 

Chromebook Distribution Schedule (by student last name).  Please show up on the designated date and time as follows:

A-B         Thursday, August 20        8:00 am – 11:15 am

C-D         Thursday August 20         11:45 am – 3:00 pm

E-G         Friday, August 21              8:00 am – 11:15 am

H-K         Friday, August 21              11:45 am – 3:00 pm

L-M        Monday, August 24         8:00 am – 11:15 am

N-R        Monday, August 24         11:45 am – 3:00 pm

S-T          Tuesday, August 25         8:00 am – 11:15 am

U-Z         Tuesday, August 25         11:45 am – 3:00 pm

 

For more detailed information regarding Chromebook distribution and textbook pickups, click here:   https://www.ridgefieldsd.org/article/286714?org=district

For Frequently Asked Questions regarding Chromebook distribution, click here:

https://www.ridgefieldsd.org/article/287454?org=district

 

Proposed AP Spanish Curriculum Materials Available for Public Review

The public is invited to review curriculum materials being considered for adoption by the Ridgefield School District to teach AP Spanish in Grades 9-12 starting in the 2020-21 school year.  The following curriculum materials are available for review:

  • Temas, AP Spanish published by Vista Higher Learning, copyright 2014

Review of the curriculum is online only from Wednesday, August 19th through Wednesday, September 2nd.  To request online access, please email Heidi Smith at heidi.smith@ridgefieldsd.org, Monday-Friday, 7:30 am – 4:30 pm.